In this session, we will review how NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, a land trust working in the inner suburbs of Baltimore County, Maryland, is using a GIS model to meet its mission of enhancing livability by protecting and improving land for small parks, gardens, trails, and natural areas. We will discuss how the model was developed and how it embraces the organization's mission and incorporates stakeholder preferences. We will also look at a practical application of the model in the inner suburb of Dundalk, a place rich with history surrounding the War of 1812, but challenged in more modern times as home to a Bethlehem Steel Plant that closed in 2003.
When stakeholders approached NeighborSpace about helping with a trail project that would emphasize the area's significance in the War of 1812, we reviewed the proposed trail site using our GIS model. We were delighted to see that it showed it to be a place with many livability challenges, i.e. a place where we should invest. In this session, we will look at specific maps of the site from our model and discuss how they have been used to influence funders and other decision makers to support the trail's development. Two of the most impactful map examples, "deficit of open space" and "potential for providing connectivity," illustrate the unique social and environmental challenges that suburban/urban land trusts face and how GIS can help guide decision making towards mitigating those challenges.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center